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Boats of long ago highlight show

(ran PW edition of PT)

Jon Brads watched the captain of a classic 1920s boat cleat his bow line to the dock behind the K.C. Crump restaurant on the Homosassa River.

"Dad, that boat would take forever to clean," the 4-year-old said as he held his father's hand.

"He helps me work on the teak on my boat," said David Brads of Brooksville. "He hates it. About the only thing he likes doing is spraying the soap off the hull." David owns a modern fiberglass boat with a 4-foot strip of teak near the stern. "These old boats don't even compare with mine. I might spend an hour cleaning mine, but these are in such good shape (the owners) must spend a lot of time taking care of them."

The Brads came to the Homosassa Antique and Classic Boat Festival and Seminar to see what kind of nautical items were available at the marine flea market and on the exhibit tables. The 50 antique boats kept grabbing Jon's attention.

"Come on dad," he pleaded. "I just want to see that one over there then we can go." But before David could get Jon headed away from the boats and toward the display tables, another boat would catch his eye.

"He's going to be a sailor, no doubt about it," David said proudly. "His mother is going to hate it."

The classic boats were from another era, a time when boats were made of wood instead of fiberglass. Sailboats, runabouts, canoes, race boats, outboards and inboards by manufacturers such as Leecraft, Chris Craft, Old Town and Electricraft lined the dock or sat on trailers near the water.

Today, the boats will be on display from 9 a.m. to noon. The arts and crafts show will be open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Admission is free and a shuttle boat crosses the river to take visitors to the car show featuring cars from pre1932 antiques to modified sports cars of the 1950s and '60s.